Sunday, February 3, 2013

# Bicol # Carol Bello

Bicolano Epic "Ibalong" Opens in CCP this Friday

Just hearing the word "Ibalong" reminded me of my trip to Bicol late last year when I got to Misibis Bay, there was a couple in costumes dancing to a drumbeat with a girl singing "Ibalong, ibalong..." repeatedly. I actually have no idea what the word means so I asked the dancers who told me that it's the old name of Bicol.

One of the Ibalong dancers.
Tanghalang Pilipino caps its 26th season with the opening of the dance-theatre musical interpretation of the Bicolano epic, Ibalong, on February 8, 2013 at 8pm in the Tanghalang Aurelio V. Tolentino of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The musical will run until March 3, 2013. 

Ibalong is adapted for the stage by prolific playwright Rody Vera and directed by Tuxqs Rutaquio with Carol Bello’s musical direction, and Alden Lugnasin’s choreography.

I remember that the last time I heard Carol Bello's musical direction was in Orosman at Zafira. I really love the suspense of her beat makes the show exciting so the music for Ibalong is definitely something one must look forward to.

Carol Bello during the presscon of Orosman at Zafira.

Ibalong is also entitled after Legazpi City’s week-long festivity. The musical tells the story of Handyong and his warriors who come to "Ibalon" (now known as Bicol) and wage war against beasts and monsters pillaging the land’s natural wealth. 

Handyong mightily battles creatures bearing a solitary eye and three throats, several winged sharks, and wild carabaos. 

Myke Salomon as Handyong
Cheeno Macaraig as Young Handyong,
also plays as Makusong, Kawal or Ibingan.
Remus Villanueva as Handyong,  also as Kawal or Angongolood.

In introducing civilization to the barbaric land, Handyong matches wit and might with the scheming snake, Oryol.  A master of deceit, Oryol disguises herself into a sweet, young lady in order to seduce Handyong. But not to be outwitted, Handyong eventually makes Oryol fall in love with him.

Jenine Desiderio as Oryol
Delphine Buencamino as Oryol (Understudy), also plays as Koro.
She played as Zafira in Orosman at Zafira.
Trixie Esteban as Young Oryol, also plays as Koro.

The love story of Handyong, a warrior, and Oryol, a monster, defines the greatness of Bicol as it explores an individual’s capacity for good and evil, and a land’s history marked by progress and destruction.

The cast also includes:
May Bayot as Gugurang
Red Nuestro as Opon
Tara Cabaero as Buring, also plays as Anino.
Hazel Maranan as Onglo, also plays as Anino.
Opaline Santos as Sarimao, also as Anino.
Kristofer Kliatchko as Angongolood, also plays as Kawal.
Cyril Balderama as Sarimao, also as Kawal.
Philip Palmos as Kikik.

The ensemble is also composed of Tanghalang Pilipino's Actor's Company featuring:

Jonathan Tadioan as Aswang, also plays as Koro
Marco Viaña as Rabot, also as Koro.
Nicolo Magno as Baltog, also plays as Koro.
Ralph Mateo as Bantong, also plays as Kalabaw, Tambaluslos or Kawal.
Regina De Vera as Bonggo, also as Anino.
Jovanni Cadag as Sarimao
Doray Dayao as Popo, also as Anino.

Nanding Josef, Artistic Director of Tanghalang Pilipino cited that this production which is being done in cooperation with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) and the City of Legazpi of Bicol.

The artistic team of Ibalong is led by Nanding Josef (Artistic Director), Rizalino Reyes & Inkantada, All-Women Group (Arranger),  Leeroy New (Costume & Puppet Designer), Alden Lugnasin (Choreographer), Katsch Catoy (Lights Designer and Technical Director) and   TJ Ramos (Sound Designer).

The production team is composed of Jennifer Bautista (Production Manager),  Alpha Joy Ruiz (Deputy Production Manager), Jo Ann Requiestas (Assistant Production Manager), Jerome Aytona (Stage Manager), Noel Taylo and Eric Sindol (Assistant Stage Managers), Daniel Gregorio (Costume Custodian), Zaldy Baldelobar (Property Master), Raphael David (Make-Up and Prosthetic Artist), and Jerry Ramirez (Stunt Choreography).

The Marketing, Sales, and Publicity team is led by Cherry Bong Z. Edralin (Marketing Manager), Toots Tolentino (Publicist), Jojit Lorenzo (Photography), Carlo Vergara (Poster Design), Joan Abubo (Ticket Officer),  Lorelei Celestino (Marketing & Sales Associate) and Juan Lorenzo Marco (Sales Executive).

The schedule of performances of Ibalong are as follows: February 8, 15, 22, March 1, 2013 (all Fridays) at 8:00 pm; February 9, 16, 23, March 2, 2013 (all Saturdays) at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm and February 10, 17, 24, March 3, 2013 (all Sundays) at 3:00 pm.

Tickets are now available at all TicketWorld Outlets. Tickets are sold at P800.00 but there's a 50% discount for students and 20% discount for senior citizens. However, for  the  Feb.  8  gala  night, tickets  are  at  P 1,000.00 with the same discounts applied for students and senior citizens. Call TicketWorld now at 891-9999 or the CCP Box Office at 832-3704.

If you love international shows, please watch Ibalong to support our own Filipino cultural heritage!

For more information, visit For inquiries, you may email Tanghalang Pilipino at or

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